By Breda Corrigan
Thanks to a winning combination of energising Hybrid power and stylish urban design, the new Toyota Yaris scooped the prestigious title of Car of the Year 2021, awarded by Europe’s most senior automotive journalists. The exterior design of the new Yaris possesses a powerful kinetic energy, and the rounded curves and glossy skin of the Japanese kuromame bean are re-invented throughout the design of the car. The unbroken line running from the bonnet, and extending to the roof, creates a natural peak towards the rear of the roof, giving the new Yaris the stance of a sprinter, poised and ready to take off. The boomerang design of the rear bumper pushes the rear wheels outward for a powerful, planted stance.
Powering the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid is a new 1.5-litre petrol engine and enhanced 4th generation hybrid system for an unrivalled combination of engaging performance and outstanding fuel economy. Built on more than 20 years of experience, the lightweight lithium-ion battery can store more power, whilst the self-charging hybrid system can recover more energy. The key advantages of hybrid ownership include fuel savings, lower emissions, automatic transmission (e-CVT) as standard, road tax savings, higher residual values, lower maintenance costs, no range anxiety (when compared to fully electric vehicles), along with the fact that Toyota Hybrids are self-charging, so there is no need to plug-in.
Safest Yaris Ever.
The new Toyota Yaris is the safest Yaris ever and it has achieved a full five-star Euro NCAP rating. Packed full of technology, standard equipment includes ‘Toyota Safety Sense 2’ with an advanced Pre-Collision System with Emergency Steering Assist and night-time pedestrian detection. In addition, Intelligent Cruise Control (which includes Adaptive Cruise Control combined with Road Sign Assist) automatically keeps the car at a pre-selected speed and warns the driver if the speed limit changes. Also included is Cyclist Detection (day-time), Lane Trace Assist, Automatic High Beam, and Intersection Collision Mitigation. The cabin in the new Yaris is well constructed and functional, while its tall seating position and large doors make it easy to get into and out of. All models come with a steering wheel that is height-adjustable and telescopic, and a driver’s seat that is height adjustable too for maximum driving comfort. A variety of storage cubbies around the cabin make it easy to store small items, and the car’s standard 286-litre cargo area can be enlarged by dropping the rear seat backrests for added practicality. The infotainment screen in the new Yaris keeps occupants up to speed with what is going on with the hybrid engine by revealing how the power is being used, as well as providing incremental fuel economy figures and an economy score at the end of each trip.
Five Trim Grades.
There are five trim grades in the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid; Aura, Luna, Luna Sport, Platinum and top-spec Premier grade. In addition to Toyota Safety Sense 2, standard equipment across all trim grades includes a touchscreen multimedia display, Smartphone integration including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, air-conditioning, daytime running lights, power heated and coloured door mirrors, multiple airbags, dusk sensor, front power windows, a shark-fin ariel, and eCall – emergency call system.
Test Car Details.
The electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission in my Yaris Hybrid Luna Sport test car is a perfect companion for the 3-cylinder petrol engine, and it enables the car to complete a 0-100km/h sprint in just 9.7-seconds on its way to a top speed of 175km/h (where permitted). With 116bhp and 120Nm of torque available, the engine delivers seamlessly smooth linear acceleration resulting in responsive and nimble manoeuvrability in urban settings and relaxed cruising ability on motorways. Fuel consumption as low as 4.1-litres per 100kms is achievable on a combined driving cycle, with a low Co2 emission figure of 92g/km leading to annual road tax of just €170. The Yaris Hybrid handles well and overall ride quality is good, with torsion beam rear suspension soaking up broken road surfaces with ease. The Yaris feels most at home traversing city streets with a drivetrain that is more than willing to operate under electric power for much of the time when in ‘Eco’ mode. Standard Luna Sport equipment includes 16-inch black machined-face alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen multimedia display, six speakers, rear privacy glass, smart entry and start system, Binocular TFT displays, digital speedometer, LED illuminated entry, powered windows front & rear, along with the option of Bi-Tone body colours with a Polar White roof.
With the cost of fuel rising at a faster rate than we have ever seen before, it is easy to see the attraction of a petrol/electric hybrid car, and the new Yaris Hybrid has the advantage of never having to be plugged-in to a power supply. The award-winning Toyota Yaris Hybrid is priced from just €23,990 and is available at Toyota dealerships nationwide now.